Transit Examples

Determining the Value of Public Transit Service


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 17 December 2014

This chapter describes successful transit programs. For more examples see Transit Improvements, Transit Encouragement, Light Rail Transit, Bus Rapid Transit and Transit Oriented Development.



St Louis MetroLink (

The MetroLink 38-mile light rail system consists of two routes extending west and east from the St. Louis central business distric. The first line, 17 miles (27 km) long, was opened in July 1993. A second route, a 17-mile (27-km) extension, opened in May 2001, extending the line further eastward into Illinois with 8 additional stations, terminating at Southwestern Illinois College. A further extension of this line north and east to Shiloh-Scott Air Force Base opened in 2003. An additional extension to the Mid-America Airport is presently in planning.


MetroLink currently (2006) carries 51,000-55,000 daily passengers, with annual ridership totalling about 16 million per year and 133 million annual passenger-miles - a significant increase over 2003, when MetroLink’s ridership totalled about 15 million annually and 124,972,600 passenger-miles, slightly more than the 122,165,700 passenger-miles carried by Metro’s 101-route bus system, and the rail system had a lower operational cost. Current ridership is 43% higher than the 173,582,057 passenger-miles the system carried in 1993, compared with a 17% increase in transit ridership nationwide, indicating that LRT can significantly increase transit ridership by attracting passengers who would otherwise drive an automobile.



Bus Rapid Transit Service Being Developed (

A new type of public transit service, called EmX, is being developed using specially-designed 60-foot articulated buses with hybrid-electric propulsion. The program is being implemented by the Lane Transit District (in central Oregon) and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (in central Ohio). Service is scheduled to begin in late 2006. The system includes the following features to improve service quality and efficiency:



Bangalore Metropolitan Transportation Corporation

Bangalore Metropolitan Transportation Corporation (BMTC), an independent corporation, stands out among the Indian State Transport Undertakings in providing efficient and diverse bus services to meet various travel demands, while also making a profit. Prior to its establishment in 1997, Bangalore had a limited range of bus services which were inefficient and lost money.


BMTC has a fleet of 6138 buses. It makes close to 80,000 bus trips every day, provides different degrees of comfort at different prices, covers 13 lakh service kilometres and carries 47 lakh passengers within greater Bangalore. It offers an impressive array of services to suit the multiple demands of its customers. There are close to 4,000 ordinary bus services operating in the city. Atal Sarige is a service for specific locations to cater to the demands of economically weaker sections of society at half the fare of ordinary services. The Pushpak service, using about 300 buses with better upholstered seats, headrests, more leg space, etc. is popular among corporate groups. At the high -income end, Vajra service is provided by plying air-conditioned low-floor Volvo buses to put their service on par with the personalised mode of transport. Volvo buses are also deployed for Vayu Vajra service for connectivity from different locations in the city to the Bangalore International Airport. A BIG-10 service has been introduced on 12 major traffic corridors to provide services to connect a few important places with high frequency.


Passenger-friendly initiatives have included the introduction of the monthly pass system with special features to attract customers, for example, Rs 1 lakh as insurance for loss of life, Rs 20,000 towards medical treatment, etc. Monthly-pass passengers have increased from 43,000 in 1998-99 to over 300,000 in 2011-12. Daily pass passengers in 2011-12 were also over 100,000.


Fleet modernisation, expansion and good maintenance have played a major role in improving the quality of bus services in Bangalore. In 1997, the corporation had 2098 buses with an average age of seven years; the oldest bus was 20 years old. Today it has the youngest fleet in the country with an average age of 3.9 years. Increasing the number of bus depots to 39 and spreading their location in the city has enabled saving of dead time and kilometres by the fleet. A system of regular pre-emptive checks has been put in place, supplemented by a system of mobile workshops using fast-moving small vehicles driven by mechanics. As a result, there has been a dramatic decline in the rate of breakdowns from 0.64 per 10,000 km in 1996-97 to 0.05 in 2009-10. Safety remains a major concern as BMTC expands its scope of activity in a city environment deficient in overall urban planning. The rate of accidents has declined from 0.32 per lakh kilometre in 1997-98 to 0.15 in 2007-08, although the absolute number of accidents increased from 472 in 2003-04 to 578 in 2007-08 as service kilometres increased.


Financial sustainability of BMTC is ensured by a pricing policy that has an element of cross-subsidy whereby customers utilising higher-end services subsidise their counterparts using ordinary bus services, and exploiting other sources of revenue. This is significant because user charges in road transport are typically not able to cover costs and there is always need to buttress revenue through other innovative means. While BMTC makes a profit of Rs 50 crore, DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) makes a huge loss of Rs 2000 crore, its operating losses alone amounting to Rs 500 crore.


In mobilising revenue, BMTC has made innovative investments in land (they have 1,400 acres of land) and is unlocking its value through real estate development. In a national pilot project, BMTC received funding under JNNURM to build 10 Traffic and Transit Management Centres (TTMCs) in Bangalore. These centres not only provide bus terminals, bus bays and maintenance depots but are also designed to house passenger amenities such as Bangalore One, ATMs and shops for daily needs. Operational activity at the bus terminals has started, but the process of tendering for commercial activity is currently going on. There is a lot of scope for revenue mobilisation as the project comes into full swing and the other 35 planned TTMCs also come on board. In this season of taxes, it is worth noting that buses do not get any favourable treatment vis-à-vis cars. In fact, excise duty on buses has been raised from 10 per cent to 15 per cent. In addition, bus companies have to pay 1 per cent of the ticket revenue as passenger taxes.


BMTC has used IT extensively to streamline its operations. All operations in the depots such as ticketing, stores, accounting etc. have been fully computerised. E-tendering is used for procurement of goods and services, and bus route information is available online. After experimenting with GPS-GIS for vehicle tracking and passenger information systems on a pilot basis, BMTC is currently floating a new tender to use GPS-GIS based system on all its services.


All BMTC bus depots are equipped with latest the emission testing facilities. In keeping with the stipulation of the government of India, the sulphur content in diesel use has been brought down from 250 ppm to 50. All new buses (350) comply with the Euro IV standard, while close to 4,000 buses are complying with the Euro III standard. BMTC pays Rs 1,000 to any person who informs them about a polluting bus plying on the roads of Bangalore. The 4th of every month is observed as Bus Day to encourage the citizens of Bangalore to leave their private vehicles home and use public transport. A 10 per cent decrease in the amount of pollutants in the air has been documented, and this is also associated with a significant decrease in the amount of respirable suspended particulate matter as well as carbon monoxide on the Bus Days.


Beginning with UITP Asia Pacific award for outstanding performance in the field of affordable public transport in 2002, BMTC has received numerous awards year after year, including the International Gold Star Millennium Award in Bangkok in 2006-07 and the Prime Minister Civil Service Excellence Award in 2009. The awards and the sustained good performance of BMTC is a remarkable story to narrate. U. Tripathi, the then managing director of BMTC, who spearheaded the reforms to bring about the transformation of BMTC has this to say: “The great transformation story of BMTC, is a success story of work by drivers, conductors, mechanics, and management.” He also emphasised the role played by the late Mr Gokulram, then chairman, BMTC in keeping the morale of the BMTC staff high in the face of stiff resistance to reform in the initial stages.


Bangalore has grown from 531 sq km in 2001 to 800 sq km in 2007. Its population has increased from 57 lakh in 2001 to 84 lakh in 2011, while the number of registered vehicles has increased from 16 lakh to 39 lakh. Of these, 88 per cent are personal vehicles. Imagine the plight of the city if the bus services had not shown a significant improvement! Even with the transformation, Bangalore is notorious for its traffic jams and congestion arising from lack of transit-oriented planning as the city grows in area, population, and economic prosperity. But BMTC has played a major role in addressing the challenge of public transportation.


The lessons from BMTC are being narrated world over, and it is high time our own transport corporations took some inspiration from what has been achieved in Bangalore.


New York Sustainable Streets Index (

The New York City Department of Transportation’s Sustainable Streets Index allows the agency to implement more performance-driven transportation policy, geared toward achieving the sustainability, mobility, infrastructure and quality of life goals. It provides data on recent trends in traffic, parking, travel and safety. The 2008 index indicated that transit had absorbed all the growth in travel between 2003 and 2007, with driving remaining essentially flat. The 2009 report includes case studies of street redesigns and bus improvements across the city:


·         At the Bronx Hub, a major intersection redesign added new bike and bus lanes and 15,000 square feet of pedestrian space, leading to the lowest crash rate in a decade. 


·         In the Bronx, Fordham Road's Select Bus Service reduced travel times by 19%. For the typical commuter, that adds up to two extra days of saved time every year. As a result, weekday ridership is up 32% compared to previous limited-stop bus service. 


·         The 34th Street bus lane improved speeds by 17%. The speed of buses in motion increased 26%. 


·         The city's first experiment with Transit Signal Priority, which gives buses extra green light time, improved travel times 16 percent during morning rush hour along Staten Island's Victory Boulevard.


·         The PARK Smart program raised parking meter rates during peak hours in Greenwich Village, with the goal of opening up on-street parking spaces and reducing cruising. The index reports that while the occupancy rate of affected parking spaces dropped by six percent during the week, it increased by four percent on Saturdays, suggesting that meters should be priced higher to achieve the desired effect, since current on-street parking remains much cheaper than off-street options.



Comparing Transit Service Performance: Sacramento and Columbus

A study by Schumann (2005) compares transit system performance in two similar size cities. The Sacramento Regional Transit District ( began building a Light Rail Transit system in 1985, while the Central Ohio Transit Authority ( Columbus failed in its efforts establish a similar system in Columbus, Ohio and so only offers bus transit. During the following 17 years, transit service and ridership increased significantly in Sacramento, but declined in Columbus, while operating costs per passenger-mile increased much more in Columbus than in Sacramento, as indicated in the table below.


Table 1            Columbus and Sacramento Transit Performance (Schumann, 2005)














County Population (000)









Unlinked trips (000)









Trips per capita









Passenger miles (000)









Passenger miles per capita









Transit vehicles









Revenue vehicle miles









Operating expenses ($000)









Constant operating expenses (2002 $000)












Constant operating expenses per passenger-mile 2002$









CO = Columbus; SA = Sacramento; SA/CO = Sacramento/Columbus; 1985 to 2002 consumer price index change = 1.672.



In addition, voters appear more willing to support dedicated funding for transit systems that include rail transit service. In 1988, a year after the first rail line began operations, Sacramento country voters approved a referendum which provided sales tax funding to operate and expand the transit system. The article’s author argues that Sacramento’s first rail “starter” line gained public support for continual transit service improvements.


Out of four Columbus area transit funding referenda between 1986 and 1995, only one passed. As a result of funding shortfalls the transit system has raised fares and reduced service, which helps explain the decline in transit ridership. The author argues that, had Columbus had a rail line in the 1980s there would probably have been more support for public transit funding, leading to a more attractive system and higher ridership now.


Table 2            Rail Transit Predictions Versus Ridership (CTOD 2006)



Prediction Year

Most Recent Count


Minneapolis, Hiawatha





Houston, Metrorail





Salt Lake City, Trax





Portland, Streetcar





San Deigo, Green Line





St. Louis, St. Clair Ext.





Tacoma, Link





Portland, Westside Max





based on FTA New Starts and transit agency data




Freiburg, Germany (Pucher and Buehler 2009)

Freiburg, Germany is a city of 220,000 in Western Germany which has significantly increased walking, cycling and public transit travel, and reduced per capita automobile use, through a combination of tram and bus network improvements, walking and cycling improvements and supportive land use policies. In spite of rising per-capita income, vehicle km of car use per capita in Freiburg declined by 7% on all roads and by 13% on residential roads from 1990 to 2006. As a result:

·         From 1992 to 2005, per capita energy consumption and pollution emissions fell by 13.4% to a level that is 89% of the German average and only 29% of the American average.

·         Traffic fatalities are only 3.7 traffic fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants vs. 6.5 in Germany and 14.7 in the USA.

·         Public transport service requires only 10% of its operating costs to be subsidized through government funds, compared to 28% for Germany as a whole and 65% in the USA.



Portland, Oregon (

Portland, Oregon has implemented several successful transit projects including the MAX regional rail system, Portland Streetcar, Intercity Passenger Rail, TDM programs and the OHSU tramway. Portland’s transit agency, Tri-Met, has produced a Community Building Sourcebook ( which describes many of the projects, plans, programs and organizations that make the Portland region a national model for linking land use and transportation initiatives. They have implemented many support strategies, including, Walking and Cycling Improvements, Transit Encouragement programs, and Transit Oriented Development. The cumulative effects of these improvements has been significant. Figure 1 illustrates how per capita transit ridership increased between 1970 and 2002.


Figure 1          Annual Transit Trips Per Capita in Portland, Oregon Region

Per capita transit ridership approximately tripled in Portland, Oregon due to various transit improvements.



As a result of Portland’s efforts to improve travel options and its Smart Growth land use policies, during the last two decades Portland’s per capita average vehicle mileage has declined compared with U.S. national trends.


Figure 2          Portland Vehicle Travel Trends (

Portland vehicle travel has declined 10-15% compared with the national average due to transportation and land use management policies.



Seoul Bus Rapid Transit (  )   

Seoul, South Korea is a fast-growing Asian mega-city – its population increased from 5.4 million inhabitants in 1970 to over 10 million today, with 20 million in the metropolitan area. During this period the number of motor vehicles has increased by 46 times to nearly 3 million vehicles, causing severe traffic congestion, public health and pollution problems. To help solve these problems, beginning in 2002 Mayor Lee Myung-Bak and his team at the Seoul Development Institute embarked on a variety of transportation and land use innovations improve mobility alternatives and reduce private motorized trips. In July 2004 the city launched a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that has dramatically improved the quality of public transport. Over 76 kilometers of median busways were constructed in 2004 (with a plan to expand this to 162.4 kilometers). Over 5,000 buses have installed GPS tracking technology to ensure improved customer service, and 815 buses have been converted to operate on natural gas. A smart card system is utilized to allow free transfers to different transit services.

A single BRT lane carries six times more persons than a mixed traffic lane. Travel times along the BRT corridors have been reduced by a factor of five. This led to an 11% increase in public transport use and a 27% reduction in traffic accidents during its first year of operation.




Mexico City’s MetroBus (

MetroBus, Mexico City’s Bus Rapid Transit system, established June 2005, transports an average of 250,000 passengers a day during the week through 36 stations on Insurgentes Avenue, the city’s longest street. The system had replaced 350 older microbuses with 97 brand new articulated diesel buses that have eliminated over 35,000 tons of greenhouse gases and reduced passenger exposure to tailpipe emissions by 23-59%, according to recent studies by the Mexico City-based Center for Sustainable Transport/EMBARQ. The system has also managed to reduce travel time by an average of 33% as well as decrease accidents by 30%.


Another factor that distinguishes the MetroBus system from others is its flat fare. Passengers now pay $3.50 pesos (about $0.30 USD) per trip regardless of how far they travel, a departure from the previous distance-based system.


These positive changes have not gone unnoticed by passengers. In a poll also fielded by CTS/EMBARQ, MetroBus passengers gave the system an average approval rating of 8.2 out of 10, and 6% of passengers reported having switched from using cars since MetroBus was opened.


Perhaps the project’s most important accomplishment is the discussion it has spurred throughout the city about the need to invest in high quality public transport. Newly elected mayor Marcelo Ebrard has promised that his administration will build ten more MetroBus lines during his term.



Public Transport Policy Reforms (PPIAF 2006)

The Urban Bus Toolkit includes numerous case studies of public transit policy reforms. These include key documents, such as contracts between transport authorities and bus operators.


Developed Countries

Developing Countries

















Addis Ababa




Chennai and Bangalore



New Urbanist Residents 'Walk the Walk’ (

A study of Orenco Station, a suburban New Urbanist community on Portland’s Westside MAX light rail line indicates high rates of transit use and other “smart growth” goals. Researcher Dr. Bruce Podobnik of Lewis and Clark College asked residents various questions about life in the community, five years after its founding. Twenty-two percent of residents reported using light rail or the bus to commute to work or school - far higher than the 5% average for the region. Sixty-nine percent of residents reported that they use public transit more often than they did in their previous community. G.B. Arrington, a public transit expert, describes these numbers as “totally off the charts for conventional suburban development,” and notes, “the fact that many residents can walk or take very short trips is very significant.”


Ninety-four percent said that they find the community’s New Urbanist design superior to typical suburban communities. Podobnik believes the Town Center is an important part of the community’s success. He notes that 70% of residents say they shop in the Town Center's grocery store or other businesses at least once a week. Orenco Station’s tree-lined streets and public spaces also seem to facilitate social interaction among neighbors. Seventy-eight percent of residents state that there is a higher sense of community than in their previous neighborhood, and 40% reported participating in neighborhood activities. Residents were asked to name up to three things they like and dislike about the community. Residents said they liked the “overall design’ (13%), greenspaces and parks (12%), Town Center (10%), garages on alleys (9%), pedestrian-friendly streets (6%), and access to light rail (5%). Features residents dislike included “none” (20%), “dog problems” (11%), and “traffic problems outside Orenco” (8%).



Improved Transit Efficiency, Ridership and Revenues (

The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) succeeded in increasing its revenue more than 22% in three years by restructuring the transportation network as part of an integrated marketing strategy (Reinhold and Kearney 2008). Traffic simulations demonstrated that improving frequency on the main lines could shorten travel times and attract many new customers to public transportation. In addition, lines outside the core network with little utilization were identified where service could be reduced to achieve significant cost savings with only a slight decline in the number of passengers. In 2004, new premium products, the MetroBus and MetroTram, were introduced; in 2006, their services were improved yet further. Today, the MetroBus and MetroTram run on the 26 most important lines (in addition to the subway), 24 hours a day at very short intervals. They are intensively marketed, and customers can understand the Metro network almost as well as they can the subway network. The new MetroBus and MetroTram products have achieved great success, with passenger volume on some lines rising by more than 30 percent. Overall, the BVG has gained more than 21 million new trips per year and reduced its annual operating costs by more than 9.5 million euros.



Athans 2004 Olympics Transit Legacy (Frantzeskakis and Frantzeskakis, 2006)

The 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece left a legacy of improved public transit service and reduced congestion in a city that had previously suffered from significant automobile traffic problems.


All venues were designed to be served exclusively by mass transportation. Special attention was given to improve public transport. Furthermore, residents were urged to use public transport for general travel during the games. Besides the measures to discourage the use of private cars, such as the parking control zones mentioned later in this feature, special express bus lines to the venues were introduced and the frequency of selected existing bus lines was increased.


In addition, two new fixed rail systems were introduced: a tramway connecting

the western coast to the center and a suburban railroad to the airport. The existing new metro lines were extended. The old metro line, connecting the Piraeus Port and the city center to the major Athens Olympic Sports Complex was improved considerably (in terms of capacity, stations, etc.).


To avoid the future effects of increasing car ownership, Athenians are trying to make the best use of this new transportation infrastructure to reduce the use of passenger cars. The number of annual trips per inhabitant by public transport, which declined from a maximum of 480 in 1965 to a low of 140 around 1990, has increased since then to more than 200. The government should help this effort by continuing to improve public transport, providing park and ride areas, enforcing illegal parking prohibition and conducting related transportation campaigns. The experience gained in the traffic management effort during the games is being used to fully utilize the increased capacity of the improved transportation infrastructure.



Arlington County (; Dittmar & Ohland, 2004)

Arlington County, adjacent to Washington DC, is one of the most successful examples in the U.S. of Transit-Oriented Development. Nearly 18,000 residential units and more than 46 million square feet of office and retail space have been built during the last two decades. This type of development would not be possible without the Metrorail transit system. Prior to the development of this system the Rosslyn-Ballstron corridor was an aging, low-density commercial stretch with declining commercial activity. To help support the areas economic development County leaders insisted that Metro be built underground rather than in the freeway medians.


In return, the County channeled nearly all development along the Metrorail lines. It promoted high-density development adjacent and above rail stations, with relatively high density housing within convenient walking distance. Development follows a Bulls Eye pattern, with the greatest density around the rail station, where there are high-rise commercial and residential buildings (up to 20 stories), which declines with distance away from the center, into medium-density residential (apartments, duplexes and townhouses), and then into two-story single-family neighborhoods established prior to 1960. The areas General Land Use Plan (GLUP) has been adjusted as needed to allow additional development in the center while preserving older, established residential neighborhoods and historic buildings.


Despite population and employment growth, traffic volumes on local roads has increased little, and the area has far less commuter parking than would normally be required, due to high levels of transit ridership (most transit riders get to the rail station by foot, bicycle or bus), frequent local bus service, excellent walking and cycling conditions, and mixed land use that locates so many activities close together, minimizing the need to drive. As a result, the County has grown rapidly without major expansion of the highway network or parking facilities, while maintaining low tax rates. The Metrorail corridors provide 50% of the County’s tax base on only 7% of the land. The area enjoys low vacancy rates and higher lease and sale prices than otherwise comparable locations. Transit ridership has grown steadily. Mixed land use has resulted in relatively balanced ridership over the day, rather than two sharp peaks experienced on some systems.


The area also has aggressive Transportation Demand Management programs implemented by local governments, employers, developers, transit agencies, a local Transportation Management Association (TMA), and residents to encourage efficient travel behavior (Table 3). Performance guarantees and fines are applied if developers fail to implement required programs.


Table 3            Developer/Employer TDM Program Requirements


Consistent with Land Use Plan

Consistent with Land Use Plan But Traffic Problems Forecasted

Requires Land Use Variation, No Traffic Problems Forecasted

Requires Land Use Variation, Traffic Problems Forecasted

Rideshare Promotion





Distribute brochures and posters





Conduct travel surveys





Operate vanpool program





Subsidize vanpool program





Employee transportation coordinator





Support TMA





Guaranteed Ride Home





Parking Management





Rideshare vehicle priority parking





Price SOV parking





Discounted vanpool parking





Transit Programs





Help fund shuttle buses





Commuter transit subsidy





Provide Onsite Facilities





Bike Parking & Showers





Van accessible garage





Off-street delivery





Roadway improvements





Help Fund Off-site Facilities





Pedestrian systems (SKYWALK)





Direct connections to Metro





Intersection improvements





New Metrorail station





This table indicates the TDM program measures required for development. Requirements vary depending on the location and size of development and whether it is forecast to cause significant traffic problems.



A survey performed in 2000 found that worksites that had TDM programs generated 1.97 vehicle trips per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area, about 10% less than the 2.17 vehicle trips generated at worksites that lack such programs (which is itself a low generation rate). The area also has between half and a quarter of the parking supply as would be required at an automobile-oriented development (buildings in the area have 1 to 2 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area, compared with the 3 to 4 spaces normally required), providing huge cost savings and allowing greater design flexibility and development density.



Boulder (

Starting in 1989, the city of Boulder, Colorado began implementing a demonstration transit service using a fleet of small, colorfully designed buses to provide high frequency, inexpensive and direct service within the city. And thus, the first Community Transit Network bus, the HOP, was born. Today, there are six bus routes in the Community Transit Network — HOP, SKIP, JUMP, BOUND, DASH and STAMPEDE. All have a unique identity and amenities shaped with community input and direction. In 1990, Transit ridership was about 5,000 riders daily for all local and regional routes in and out of Boulder. In 2002, ridership averaged about 26,000 daily, a 500% increase. The city of Boulder is partnering with the city of Longmont and Boulder County to add another high-frequency bus route on Highway 119, scheduled to begin in 2004.


Benefits of the Community Transit Network:

1.       Provides a convenient transit alternative to the single occupancy vehicle.

2.       Uses neighborhood-scaled vehicles to fit the context of Boulder.

3.       Strengthens the local economy by providing easy access around Boulder and to and from surrounding communities.

4.       Provides wheelchair accessible transportation.

5.       Reduces air pollution by using clean-burning fuels.

6.       Alleviates traffic congestion and minimizes the need for roadway expansion.

7.       Provides reliable, high frequency service.

8.       Operates clean, comfortable, human-scaled vehicles, with special amenities such as music.

9.       Promotes a positive transit image with attractive vehicles and on-going marketing support.

10.   Accepts Eco Passes (transit passes for students and residents of certain neighborhoods).

11.   Includes bike racks, holding two bikes at one time, allow for integration of travel.


In November, 2000, residents of the Forest Glen neighborhood in the city of Boulder voted to form a General Improvement District (GID) to provide RTD transit passes for all neighborhood residents. All Forest Glen residents are eligible to receive an RTD Eco Pass, including home owners and renters. These passes are paid for by residents in the Forest Glen as part of their annual property tax. The RTD Eco Pass allows unlimited riding on all RTD buses, Light Rail service to Denver International Airport, and Eldora Mountain Resort buses.


The Truth About Cars & Trucks:  Reinventing Our Wheels

The Ottawa Citizen, Thu 31 May 2001, by Paul McKay


What taxpayer-funded product usually arrives on time, but is empty so often it burns money for nothing?  That would be the diesel-belching, 12-metre “loser cruiser” that lumbers -- by the relentless hour, day, week, month and year – through the suburbs of Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto, Denver, Dallas and hundreds of other North American cities. Most of the time, they chug past bus stops where few passengers get on or off.


In cities such as Ottawa and Vancouver, public transit accounts for only 15 per cent of rush-hour passenger trips. In outlying cities like Cumberland or Coquitlam, peak bus ridership is a dismal five per cent of passenger trips. Outside of rush hour, riders are so scarce they drop off the radar screen of transit agencies apparently resigned to running buses at a huge loss. Forever.


It’s no secret where those missing riders are: Usually driving alone, in the cars that are clogging every major city on the continent. They may not know it, but those solo drivers are paying for the worst of both worlds. Out of one pocket, they annually pay an average of $9,000 to own, operate and maintain private vehicles that are besieged by gridlock. The No. 1 cause? Other solo drivers. From the other pocket, their taxes help pay for city transit agencies that own, operate and maintain the 20-tonne buses often carrying little more than the bus driver and air. Perversely, in the rare times these buses are full, they are often brought to a halt by commuter cars carrying those who subsidize them.


Empty buses. Empty cars. Overloaded roads. Paying twice for less and less mobility. Has no one found a way out of this mess? Yes. One of them would be Bob Whitson, an engineer with a Texas twang and wry wit who heads up what could be the most successful city transit system on the continent. He works for the city of Boulder, an hour’s drive northwest of Denver, where 100,000 residents live, study and work in the spectacular shadow of the Colorado Rockies. And 60,000 of them have city bus passes.


In the world of public transit, that ratio is astounding. No other city in North America comes even close. Mr. Whitson says the reason is simple: “The riders chose their bus service. It was not chosen for them.”


He means that literally. In Boulder, riders choose the size of buses (40-footers are dismissed as “diesel dinosaurs”), the design, the seating plans and upholstery, the size and tinting of windows and options like hanger straps and bike racks. The drivers get to choose their uniforms and the music for an on-board CD player. Most important, Boulder riders help choose the routes and pickup spots. So buses come to them, usually in 10 minutes or less. How is that possible? By scrapping the mindset that has failed to fill suburban buses for half a century.


“We are outside the mainstream of public transit thinking,” Mr. Whitson says with a renegade grin. “No one here has ever studied transit. We’ve learned everything on our own. When I go to national public transit conferences, they all talk about bus maintenance, the latest in diesel fuels, how windshield wipers work and counting every nickel that goes in the fare box. They never talk about the customer. Here we ask people -- in their homes, schools, where they work, at the gym -- what they want. We listen very carefully, then go out and try to get it for them.”


The number and range of car-to-bus converts is unheard of. At the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, 26,000 students voted to add $15 to their tuition fees every semester for an unlimited bus pass. It takes them anywhere in the city, virtually anytime. Or to downtown Denver, the closest ski resort or Denver’s international airport (which costs a non-pass holder $44 for a round-trip shuttle).


Those bulk passes let Boulder bus planners know, in advance, exactly how many riders they will have, and when and where buses should be routed to connect the campus, residences, major malls, even downtown bars on weekends. A student photo ID eliminates the need to feed fare-boxes and have exact change. In fact, the fare-box is the college administration office, which collects the bulk fares three times a year and promptly hands the money over to the Boulder bus operator.


That simple, unorthodox formula also works for the Boulder downtown merchants, the city’s main hospital and several major employers. For instance, the municipal group that collects downtown Boulder parking fees uses a portion of that revenue to buy annual bus passes for 6,000 city core employees. The Chamber of Commerce followed suit, adding $50 per year to its member fees.


The employees love it because they get to commute for free, don’t have to find or pay for downtown parking and can use the bus pass to shop on Saturday or get to a Broncos game on Sunday. The merchants love it because it frees up scarce parking spots for shoppers. And the bus company loves it because it gets paid, in one advance shot, for a year of servicing predictable, high-use routes. The next target for Mr. Whitson and his Go Boulder staff were private companies with hundreds of employees. Successful pitches led several to sign contracts, pledging an average of $50 per employee for annual, unlimited transit passes. With up-front payments and predictable riders, that allowed the bus company to plan the most effective routes to and from those workplaces.


A key feature is the “safe ride home” promise. By pooling $2 from each $50 pass, the bus company arranged with city taxis to pick up, at no extra cost to the employee, anyone in the office who needs an emergency ride or one after bus operating hours. The same deal applies to all 1,200 employees of the city hospital. Nurses on shifts especially welcomed the low-cost, flexible service.


Next came residential neighbourhoods. So far, Mr. Whitson’s Go Boulder group has persuaded 15 community groups to sign annual contracts pledging a minimum of $5,000 for annual bus passes. That buys a photo ID and unlimited bus use, for all members of each household in the neighbourhood block. Some of the keenest riders are kids -- including teenagers who wouldn’t normally be caught dead riding a “loser cruiser.”


Mr. Whitson says that’s because “they figured out pretty quickly that it gives them total freedom. They know there will be a bus every 10 minutes. They don’t have to worry about schedules or fares or exact change or how many trips they can take.” Mr. Whitson proudly notes that even primary school kids get to help design the outside bus markings, which boldly announce that a circular route “Hop,” “Skip” or “Jump” bus is arriving. The nicknames are painted in huge letters and surrounded by cute rabbits and grasshoppers. “It lets our youngest riders know exactly which bus to take, and their parents feel safe about letting them take a bus to sports practice or music lessons,” says Mr. Whitson. “We’re also instilling a culture. Those kids are going to be our riders 20 years from now.”


Another novel tactic is a Boulder city bylaw that requires developers of new residential subdivisions to buy each household three years’ worth of unlimited transit passes, at an average cost of $50 each. After the third year, the residents can either drop the deal or pay the same amount through their local residents’ or apartment association. There is virtually no attrition on any of these ridership programs. Take-up on the bus passes (average annual cost of $50 each) has increased from 4,000 to 60,000 since 1994.


Meanwhile, traffic congestion has not increased despite a boom in area housing and employment. “These initiatives are driven by concern about congestion and the worry of businesses that they can’t get their employees to and from work efficiently, or from businesses that want people to shop and are worried people will get blocked out by congestion,” says Mr. Whitson. “That’s our main motivator. That’s where we measure our success: Have we maintained congestion levels at 1994, even with the big growth in jobs and some housing? We have.”


Public transit is a baseline, essential service, notes Mr. Whitson. “No city in North America is going to scrap its system. It is already there, already being paid for and subsidized. Our thinking here is: Since the buses are going to be running anyway, let’s make sure they are not empty. So our bus pass is designed like group medical insurance, except it’s for transit. The cost is based on an average. Everybody has to pay. Some use it a lot; some don’t. Those who don’t help pay for those who do. But everybody has the choice to use their unlimited bus pass.”



Commuter Transit Catching on in Phoenix

Bob Golfen, The Arizona Republic, 14 July 2004


Whether they're saving money on gas or reducing commuter stress, thousands of commuters have embraced Valley Metro's RAPID bus service since it began last year. Using specially built buses with padded, high-back seats; individual air controls; and luggage racks, four Phoenix bus routes take passengers on non-stop, rush-hour freeway rides from the edges of the city to downtown on weekdays.


RAPID celebrates its first anniversary today with a growing ridership and generally positive results from a recent Valley Metro survey of riders. "I save $75 a month on gas and I save myself the stress of dangerous driving habits from other drivers," wrote RAPID rider John Walradt of northeast Phoenix in his survey response.


Opening day was inauspicious, with the first run from the Park and Ride at Bell Road and Arizona 51 carrying just two riders. A couple of hundred people tried RAPID during the course of the day. Now, RAPID counts more than 2,600 passenger boardings.


"We didn't think we would have so many people so soon," said Marie Chappell, spokeswoman for Valley Metro, which operates the bus service in conjunction with Phoenix Public Transit.


RAPID was instituted as part of the Phoenix Transit Plan, passed by voters in March 2000. Fifty-six distinctive-looking buses built for freeway travel were purchased through the funding, and eight Park and Ride lots were built. The service started with two routes, a northeast Phoenix line that uses Arizona 51 and an Ahwatukee route that runs up Interstate 10. Two more routes have been added, a north Phoenix route that operates on Interstate 17 and a west Phoenix route on I-10. Each route includes about a dozen closely spaced bus trips designed to get people to work on time in the morning and take them home at night. Valley Metro hopes to expand the service to other areas.


Many riders consider RAPID to be the executive bus line, compared with the regular public-transit buses that ply city streets. "It's a lot faster, a lot more comfortable and has a lot higher clientele," said Kevin Gray of north Phoenix, who has been riding RAPID since November. "There are a lot of professional people on the bus."


Gray, who gets a ride from his wife to the Bell Road and Arizona 51 stop, said the trip takes about a half-hour to arrive at the Central Avenue and Van Buren Street terminal. That bus makes a subsequent stop at the Arizona Capitol.


As part of RAPID's first anniversary, Valley Metro has produced four publications, one for each route, that will be handed out to riders. Each flier, which looks like a tabloid newspaper, includes stories about drivers and riders, survey results and route information. One of the vignettes in the Ahwatukee route publication tells how Burt Jorgensen, chief of the Maricopa County Attorney's Trial Bureau, uses RAPID not only to save on gas but to save on the cost of an automobile. His 16-year-old daughter drives him to the Park and Ride at 40th Street and Pecos Road in the morning and gets to keep the car. "She is able to have the car during the day, and I didn't have to buy her one," Jorgensen said.



Secrets of Success for Public Transport (

Sustainable Mobility News, December 6, 2001

Vibrant public transport systems can be achieved alongside high car ownership, according to a pan-European study which found wide variations in practice and performance across Europe. The research found beacons of public transport success in Munich, Barcelona, Stuttgart, Graz (in Austria) and Achterhoek in the Netherlands. And it says the use of buses, trains and cycles has grown over the past two decades in most European countries – even as car ownership has accelerated.


The work was carried out for the UK Commission for Integrated Transport, an independent body set up by the government in 1998 to help rescue Britain’s failing transport network. It identified three secrets of success in the cities studied, but emphasised that integration is the key:


First, public transport strategies must be co-ordinated across the different modes, rather than allowing buses, trams and trains to compete with each other. The report cites Munich, where public transport being used for 25% of all trips across the whole metropolitan area, compared with 12% in Glasgow.


Second, finance and policy-making needs to be integrated, preferably at a regional level, bringing together land use, transport planning and public finance.


Finally, streets in urban areas need to be reclaimed from the dominance of the car, providing space for all uses rather than concentrating on auto mobility.


The research found wide variations in transport indicators across the continent. Congestion was worst in Britain, where almost a quarter of the most popular roads experience delays of at least an hour. There are no such traffic jams in Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg or Finland, while only 8% of roads in Germany suffer such congestion, and only 5% in France.


Car ownership is not the most critical factor in congestion. Luxembourg, Italy and Germany have the highest car ownership rates in the European Union. But British people make more use of cars than in any other European country, so that only Spain has more intensively used roads (measured as vehicle kilometres per kilometre of road).


Investment in public transport is crucial to building a quality network, and that also varies widely. Expressed as a percentage of GDP, Luxembourg, Italy and Portugal have been the highest spenders, while Greece, Finland and Denmark have been laggards. Subsidies also vary widely. In Austria almost two-thirds of bus company income comes from public subsidies. At the other end of the scale, in the UK, the subsidy is only a third.



Fewer Vehicles on Road as People Opt for Transit in Vancouver

Chris Johnson, Vancouver Sun, August 30, 2004


The number of vehicles in the city of Vancouver has dipped slightly for the first time after a steady increase over a decade, according to Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) statistics. The numbers are also leveling off in suburbs long considered car country, where parents are often chauffeurs taking kids to schools and shopping malls.


Experts and local officials say the pattern is a result of high gas prices, increased transit services, eco-friendly lifestyle changes, and a demographic shift of younger people moving out of parents' homes in the suburbs to live in apartments downtown, where they can walk to work. "There are some fundamental changes going on," says David Baxter of the research firm Urban Futures. "It's increasingly possible to live in Vancouver without a motor vehicle."


In the city of Vancouver, where the population has stabilized in recent years despite a construction boom, the number of registered vehicles dropped by about 1,500 to 304,981, according to ICBC statistics for the period ending Jan. 31 this year. The number had grown by 50,000 between 1994 and 2003. Small decreases were also recorded in New Westminster (down 280) and White Rock (down about 180).


For the Greater Vancouver region, which includes growing populations in Port Coquitlam, Surrey and other municipalities, the number of vehicles rose by only about 17,000, to 1.28 million, after the region had gained about 300,000 vehicles since 1994.


Experts and officials interpret the data differently. But they agree that commuters are increasingly finding other ways to get to work. TransLink says ridership across Greater Vancouver on buses, SeaBuses and the SkyTrain rose by 9.5% in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, and was 24.6% higher than 2002.


Numbers rose by 11.1% for buses, 5.4% for the SkyTrain, 5.5% for SeaBuses, and 6% for the West Coast Express. Three times more people used buses (with 100.9 million boardings) than SkyTrains (with 32.4 million). Baxter says many people, including himself, own a car but only for weekend use. "At a buck a litre [for gasoline], I'm going to take transit," he says.


Others, such as Vern Bethel, a guru of vintage cars at False Creek Automotive, says the younger generation doesn't value cars as much as their parents did. "It [the love of cars] is decreasing because of pressures, such as lack of space, storage expenses, gas and insurance. Even my own kids aren't as oriented toward cars as I was."


TransLink communications director Ken Hardie says commuters are switching to rapid transit because of new factors such as bicycles being allowed on SkyTrains, and the $20 monthly U-Passes for about 60,000 university students.


He points to a customer survey showing that 42% of riders on the SkyTrain, 49% on the West Coast Express, 35% on the 99B bus route and 25% on the 98B route switched from going to work by car. "The numbers show that demand for public transit continues to grow in response to the significant expansion of services TransLink has introduced since it took over the system five years ago," TransLink chair Doug McCallum said in a press release.


Numbers are harder to find for bicycles, which don't require licensing and insurance. Richard Campbell, director of Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, a bicycle activist group, says Vancouver has the highest level of cycling in North America after Ottawa for regions of more than 900,000 people. "I know that in Kitsilano and downtown that a lot more people are walking and cycling than ever before."


He says about one in 10 ride their bikes to work in Kitsilano, while the number was only about 1.9% in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, based on 2001 census figures. But he says even the car-conscious suburbs are introducing more bike lanes. "Almost every municipality is making some improvements."


Others often overlooked by number-crunchers are those commuting by "two- stroke Cadillac" -- walking. Marcella Racakova, a 29-year-old accountant at Byrne and Associates, said she had enough of high insurance bills and problems parking at work near Lonsdale Quay. "I sold the car and now I walk about 15 to 20 minutes to work." Downtown, about 28% of residents walk to work, says Hardie. He says 42% of people coming into the downtown core arrive on mass transit, while fewer people -- only 47% -- are coming into the area by car.


That's little comfort to someone trying to find a parking spot downtown. But at the University of B.C., the U-Pass did help to reduce the demand for parking by 21% last year, says Hardie. TransLink will add more services next month to head off the "crush conditions" on buses headed for UBC and Simon Fraser University, says Hardie.


The 99U line will run non-stop every six minutes from SkyTrain's Commercial station to UBC, in addition to the 99B articulated buses that run the same route every four minutes. TransLink will also introduce the first "short- turn 99B" line between Main Street and UBC, to pick up passengers who can't get on buses that fill up at Commercial.


TransLink's press release noted that its three-year plan calls for $1 billion investment from 2005 through 2007, including 228 new trolleys and construction work on the RAV (Richmond-Airport-Vancouver) and northeast sector rapid transit lines. TransLink is also ordering 190 more buses to add to the recent delivery of 95 new buses.


TransLink says strong growth in suburbia has put more commuters on public transit, especially around the Millennium Line, where many employers provide a discounted pass to workers. TransLink says 9,300 people use theses passes, up 55% since 2002.


But the number of boardings at the Millennium Line's Sapperton station, for example, was still only a quarter of the figure at King George station on the much older Expo Line, according to TransLink. The busiest SkyTrain stations were Metrotown (with three million boardings) followed by Granville, Lougheed Town Centre, Burrard, Joyce-Collingwood, Commercial, Broadway, Main Street/Science World, Stadium, and New Westminster.



Aspen, Colorado (PPS, 1997;

Aspen, Colorado, a world-famous resort, was plagued with traffic congestion and a parking shortage until various mobility management strategies were implemented starting in 1992. A “carrot and stick” approach is the only way to convince people to leave their cars at home, or at least outside the business district, according to Gary Gleason, Marketing Director of the Roaring Fork Transit Agency (RFTA). An inexpensive demand-response van service and a free shuttle from outlying park-and-ride facilities were introduced at the same time as parking fees were instituted to manage downtown parking and encourage use of alternative modes. Commuter bus service was also expanded. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, resulting in a substantial increase in transit ridership.


Aspen’s full-time population of Aspen is only 6,000, but it expands to as many as 30,000 during the winter months. In addition, 60% of Aspen workers live outside the city, primarily because of very high housing costs, and the full-time population in the entire Roaring Fork River Valley has expanded to 30,000 in recent years. To serve this large commuter population, the RFTA provides bus service along Highway 82, the corridor through the Roaring Fork River Valley—the only means of entering Aspen for most of the year. The parking fee program was intended to encourage even more of these commuters to take the bus. A new parking lot at the airport outside of town, serviced by another free shuttle, was also built to encourage both commuters and visitors to leave their cars outside of Aspen.


The pay-for-parking program, free shuttle buses, and other proposals for reducing congestion grew out of the Aspen Area Community Plan (AACP). Developing transportation alternatives was an im-portant theme of the AACP, a document intended to “revive the vitality that previously characterized Aspen,” while developing “a livable environment for the community’s residents, employees, and visitors.” The AACP published in 1993, was the result of a 2-year, community-based process, led by citizen task forces and professional consultants. Along with action plans to revitalize the permanent resident community by providing more affordable housing, promote sustainable development and maintain design quality, Aspen residents expressed the need, in the AACP’s “Transportation Action Plan,” to provide transportation alternatives in order to reduce their dependency on automobiles. The increase in commuter traffic caused by the displacement of the workforce was described in the AACP as “degrading both the air quality and the quality of life for both residents and visitors.” The Transportation Action Plan proposed detailed solutions that would do the following:

• Limit vehicle trips into Aspen.

• Provide efficient valley-wide mass transit.

• Alter land-use patterns.

• Move people within and around the city without automobiles.

• Create a less congested downtown.

• Enhance pedestrian mobility.

• Improve bikeways.

• Provide practical car storage facilities on the out-skirts of town.



The developers of the Transportation Action Plan recognized that locals and visitors alike would only take advantage of the parking facilities outside of town if mobility within town, through frequent, accessible shuttle services, was enhanced. Likewise, the transit service would only be used if drivers were discouraged from bringing their cars into town. Thus, each component of the Transportation Action Plan was dependent on the implementation of the other components.



Night Owl Transit Service (

Austin, Texas Capital Metro Provides Transportation Options for Late Night Workers

With the help of a new grant from the Federal Transit Administration, Capital Metro now offers a new reverse commute shuttle and expanded Night Owl routes and services designed to help late night workers more efficiently commute to and from work. The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) grants totaling $2.9 million, have allowed Capital Metro to develop five new routes: one circulator, one reverse commute and three new Night Owl routes. All the new routes and services began on Monday, January 30, 2006, and are designed to take low income workers to their jobs and help residents in urban areas commute to rural and suburban employment centers. Reverse commute service addresses the transportation needs of shift employers and employees in suburban job sites in Northeast Austin at Tech Ridge.


"Capital Metro is pleased to be able to respond to a transportation need within the community," said Rob Smith, Capital Metro's Director of Strategic Planning and Development."Getting people to and from work is something we're proud to do and now we have the means to provide this service to late night and early morning workers who have not always had available transit options."


"One of the most significant barriers to finding and maintaining employment is lack of transportation," said Fred Butler, Executive Director of the Community Action Network. "By engaging in the Job Access and Reverse Commute program and expanding their services, Capital Metro is providing a critical service to help employers retain their workforce, employees find and keep their jobs, and the community curb unemployment rates."



Economic Returns (EDRG, 2007)

EDRG (2007) used quantitative analysis to estimate that the current Chicago region transit plan provides an estimated 21% annual return on investments, an enhanced plan provides a 34% return, and adopting Transit-Oriented Development, as proposed in the region’s official comprehensive plan, would increase the return to 61%. Failure to maintain the transit system will harm the region’s commuters and the economy, estimated at over $2 billion annually.



Hasselt, Belgium Reduces Automobile Travel With Free Transit

(CNN, 2000) 68,000 people live in the Belgium town of Hasselt; another 200,000 people commute in and out every day. Faced with rising debt and traffic congestion, the mayor decided to abandon plans to build a third ring road around the town. Instead, he closed one of the two existing ring roads, planted trees in its place, laid more pedestrian walkways and cycle tracks, increased the frequency and quality of the bus service, and announced that public transport would be free of charge.


A year later the use of public transport has increased by a staggering 800%. The merchants are happy because business has increased; there are fewer accidents, fewer road casualties and there has been an increase in social activity. The same day that the town made the buses free, they also slashed local taxes – the habitants of Hasselt are now paying less than they were 10 years ago. More people are attracted to Hasselt because it is easier to get there, and the extra income has reduced the local taxes. Free buses were a cheaper alternative, and it worked. The city had been slowly losing population, but since the new measures were adopted, the population has been rising 25 times faster than it was shrinking. Hasselt has been showered with international awards and prizes for the innovative way it has tackled congestion and pollution.



Hiawatha Ridership exceeds Projections

Laurie Blake, “Light-Rail Ridership: A Love Story,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, (, November 14, 2005


When his carpool collapses for a day, John Healy has no qualms about

riding light rail to work in downtown Minneapolis. "It seems a little more predictable and regular than the bus," he said...there is always another one coming."


Healy, of south Minneapolis, is a new breed of transit rider -- willing to

take trains, but rarely, if ever, climbing aboard a bus. A 2004 survey found that 40 percent of Hiawatha's riders are like Healy -- not bus riders before train service began.


This preference for rail largely explains why the Hiawatha ridership is exceeding projections. Preconstruction predictions did not factor in positive attitudes toward the train. The Hiawatha ridership is 65 percent higher than predicted. In October, an estimated 742,000 riders used the line.


Rail's smooth ride and consistent schedule make it appealing to riders who would not consider the bus. The permanence of the track and the frequency of service make it easy to use without knowing a schedule. Within one year, light rail has emerged as the single busiest transit line in the metro area. It's ahead of the No. 1 bus line, Route 5, linking Brookdale, downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America, according to Metro Transit.


What Converts Like

The train made a transit convert of Jennifer Johnson of south Minneapolis, who said she and her husband never went downtown before the rail line opened. Now they go twice a month on the Hiawatha. "It's quick, it's clean, it's safe and little kids love the train," said Johnson, who had her child in tow.


Mesaba Airlines flight attendant Cara Cobb, from Detroit, said it was the quick, direct rail service that prompted her to take the train from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to the Mall of America during a break from work. "It was cheap and it was fun and we didn't have to wait long," she said. Had she ever taken a bus to the mall? Cobb shrugged. "I don't know where you get a bus at the airport."


Warren Nordley, a Burnsville retiree, drove up to Bloomington to catch the train to a class at the University of Minnesota. "I personally enjoy it," he said. "I feel it is a much more pleasant way to go than the bus. The big open windows -- it's just a more pleasant feeling. And you are totally immune to the traffic."


Nordley said he believes that men in general find the bus "beneath their dignity -- it's just not classy enough." As a transit advocate, he does not share that attitude. He prefers the train, but "either bus or train are far superior to driving your car."


Repercussions for the Future

The Metropolitan Council based its rail-rider predictions on bus-rider behavior. Wary of overstated ridership, the Federal Transit Administration discouraged even a 25 percent padding for rail preference, said Natalio Diaz, director of transportation planning for the Met Council.


"Now we have real numbers from observed behavior," Diaz said. "About 40 percent of the riders are people who were not using the bus. That is a huge amount."


Officials have spent more than a year correcting the metro area's forecasting methods to better reflect rail's appeal. This change could be important for ridership predictions on a proposed central corridor rail line along University Avenue linking St. Paul and  Minneapolis. An upcoming environmental impact statement will compare the pros and cons of a rail line with bus rapid transit. Ridership will be central to that comparison and a key part of the choice between rail or bus, Diaz said.



Transit Commuter Service To Central Philadelphia (

A rider survey conducted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission found that the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) “Speedline” rail transit service (a heavy, fully grade-separated rapid transit system) carries 47% of New Jersey business commuters and 58% of Camden County business commuters who work in Center City Philadelphia. In other words, approximately half of New Jersey business commuters travelling into Center City Philadelphia are relying on a relatively new (opened in 1969) public transit facility.



European Transit Ridership Growth Strategies (Colin Buchanan and Partners, 2003)

A study comparing various European regions and cities identified the following transport policies that tend to increase public transit ridership:

·         Availability of adequate capital funding for public transport.

·         Relatively low public transport fares.

·         Integration of public transport services (timed connections, new journey opportunities etc).

·         Integration of regional, multimodal ticketing systems.

·         Restraint of parking and reallocation of road space to more sustainable modes.

·         Long-term planning and implementation of these policies. To be effective, these polices must be in place for a long time (a decade or more), which implies consistent political consensus on their efficacy.

·         Adequate regulation of bus transit systems; the most successful systems are run on a franchised (quality contract-type) basis.



The Chattanooga Story (

Over the last 20 year, Chattanooga, Tennessee has redeveloped its once-depressed downtown to become a major commercial and tourist center that attracts millions of visitors a year. This evaluated out of three decades of community planning that emphasize citizen involvement, local environmental quality and strategic investments.


Concerned about the impacts that pollution was causing on local economy, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce created a Air Pollution Control Board in 1967. The board included a diversity group of business leaders and citizens. It established a 1972 deadline for all existing major sources of pollution to be in compliance with emission standards, which was met at a cost of $40 million. National and international attention was focused on a city that in three years had changed from the most polluted city in the United States to one of the cleanest. This inspired a new community challenge, revitalizing a dying city.


In the early 80’s, city officials established a goal that Chattanooga should become a leader in developing solutions to urban problems. In 1982, City and County governments appointed a task force to study and define the best way to develop the 22-mile Tennessee River corridor around Chattanooga. Through this process thousands of citizens attended hundreds of meetings to focus on the riverfront. The Task Force drafted the Tennessee Riverfront Master Plan covered 20 years and involved $750 million in commercial, residential and recreational development.


This led to creation of the RiverCity Corporation, a private, nonprofit organization with a mandate to implement the Riverfront Master Plan and 40 community development goals. Among other achievements, it developed the Tennessee Aquarium, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium, which opened in 1992. The structure has become a trademark for the city that in 10 years transformed itself from a dying city to one of growth and sustainable development. As a result of these efforts, Chattanooga is now one of America's most livable cities.



BRT Success Stories (

The report, Modernizing Public Transport (Hidalgo and Carrigan 2010), summarizes information on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems, based on research and interviews with planners and public officials in cities and transport agencies around the world. It reviews and synthesizes information regarding challenges experienced by transport system decision makers in three key areas: planning, implementation and operations. In order to assist urban transport planners and implementing agencies, the study also provides recommendations on avoiding or mitigating similar difficulties when introducing bus reforms in developing world cities.


Light Rail Economic Benefits (Hass-Klau, Crampton and Benjari, 2004)

The study, Economic Impact of Light Rail, investigated the effect of trams and light rail on travel patterns and economic activity in numerous European and North American cities. It found that property values generally increase around rail transit stations, as summarized in Table 3. It also found that rail systems tend to increase downtown shopping visits and retail activity (several commercial areas experienced 30-60% increases in visitors compared before and after light rail lines opened); reduces per household car ownership rates (households within 300 meters of a rail transit station typically own 5-15% fewer vehicle than regional averages); and results in more compact land use development patterns. Many businesses prefer to locate near rail stations to improve access for employees and customers; some employers say that employees who commute by rail are more productive since they avoid the stress and uncertainty of driving on congested roads. In the Strasbourg area, merchants previously opposed tram development, citing the disruption it would cause, so the line bypasses their downtown, which they now regret. This study concludes that urban rail can provide substantial economic benefits with appropriate policies and support. It emphasizes that rail transit alignments should be selected based on where the maximum amount of ridership and economic development will occur, rather than to minimize construction costs.


Table 4            Rail Station Proximity Impacts on Property Values (Hass-Klau, Cramption and Benjari, 2004)




Newcastle upon Tyne

House prices


Greater Manchester

Not stated



House prices


Portland Gresham

Residential rent



Residential rent



Office rent



Rent and houses



Residential rent



Residential rent



Office rent



Property values

Positive, no figure given


Apartment rents

None-initially negative due to noise


Not stated

Small increase


Commercial property

Higher values


Not stated

None-initially negative due to noise


Office rents

+50% in most cases

This table summarizes how property values are affected by proximity to rail stations in various cities.



Innovative Bus Systems In India (EMBARQ 2014)

The report, Bus Karo 2.0 – Case Studies from India by EMBARQ India provides comprehensive guidance on all aspects of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) planning and operations, including real case studies from various Indian cities to demonstrate the large efficiency gains and benefits that BRT systems can provide. 


The Bus Karo Programme works to improve city bus service in Indian cities. The programme is designed to build capacity, provide technical support and share best practices in the field of urban bus transport in India. The initiative is a best-practice and peer-to-peer learning network, where the implementation of pilot projects brings about significant outcomes. The programme has three primary aspects:

Mentoring Transit: Partnering with public transport agencies through support from experts to aid the implementation of pilot projects designed to enhance city bus services.

Talking Transit: Organising workshops and facilitating discussions in which public transport authorities can gather to discuss strategies and hurdles to achieving sustainable transport. This also provides an opportunity for peer-to-peer capacity building.

Learning Transit: Facilitating the sharing of best practices through the documentation and distribution of international and India-specific cases of city bus services.


The Bus Karo v2.0 Guidebook is part of EMBARQ India’s efforts towards facilitating this peer-to-peer learning. It provides an overview of the current state of affairs regarding the urban public transport system in India.



Minneapolis’ New Light-Rail Train Shows What Can Be

By Rob Zaleski, The Capital Times – Madison, WI


August 21, 2004


MINNEAPOLIS - On Saturday, June 26, the quality of Andrew Brantingham’s life took a sudden - and rather dramatic - turn for the better. On that day, the first segment of Minneapolis’ long-awaited, much ballyhooed - and still controversial - Hiawatha high-speed light-rail line opened.


For now, it stretches from the funky Warehouse District in downtown Minneapolis to Fort Snelling, a historic site and state park in southeast Minneapolis. But in December, the remainder of the 12-mile system will open, linking the downtown with Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington.


And Brantingham, 23, is so ecstatic about the whole thing that he and his roommate threw a big party June 26 at their southeast side apartment, which is just a half-mile walk from the 46th Street station, one of 12 stops on the line.


A recent graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Brantingham works as a legal assistant at a downtown law firm, and before June 26 usually commuted by bus. And while he didn’t particularly mind, he’s since discovered what tens of thousands of other Minneapolis residents have: that, if anything, light-rail advocates - including former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who jump-started the project in the late 1990s - had understated what a pleasant, stress-free experience high-speed rail can be.


“It’s certainly more reliable than the bus,” Brantingham said one night last week over a beer at the Cardinal Bar (Minneapolis has one too), just a few blocks from his apartment. “It’s also faster, cleaner, quieter. And, to be honest, just a whole lot cooler.”


As for the critics - most notably Republican state Rep. Phil Krinkie of suburban Shoreview - who still argue that the $715 million Hiawatha project was a shameful waste of taxpayer money, Brantingham shakes his head and sighs. While he may not be an expert on mass transit, Brantingham says, he has ridden the subway in London and the El in Chicago. And with freeways as congested as they are, only a fool would oppose investing in some sort of rail system, he maintains.

“I don’t care if it’s Minneapolis or Madison, Wisconsin, or any other fast- growing metropolitan area,” he says. “If you want to take your city to the next level, you need  first-rate mass transit.”

In Minneapolis, which has a population of 375,000, “People need to see this as a necessary first step to a larger rail network,” says Brantingham, noting that - despite intense opposition from conservative legislators and the Minnesota Taxpayers Alliance - rail advocates now want to pursue several other lines: a Minneapolis-to-St. Paul line that would run through the University of Minnesota campus; a Northstar commuter rail line to Anoka and Sherburne Counties that would use heavier diesel cars; and possibly a third line to Minneapolis’ burgeoning southwest suburbs.


“I mean, people in other areas of the city are saying, ‘Hey, what good does the Hiawatha do me?’ I understand that. But this is just the beginning of what could be a really great rail system. So it’s going to take 10 to 15 years before it’s helpful to everyone.”


However one perceives it, there seems no denying that many locals share Brantingham’s enthusiasm for the sleek, wide-window trains, which run every 7 minutes during rush hour, cruise along at 40 mph once they leave downtown and cost the same as the bus - $1.75 during rush hour, $1.25 all other times.


Indeed, the Hiawatha has been attracting 15,000 riders per day – nearly double the rosiest projections - since its unveiling June 26. It’s been especially popular with Minnesota Twins fans, who zip to the game in air- conditioned comfort, no longer have to shell out $8 for parking and are deposited right in front of the Metrodome.


But the biggest surprise, observers say, is that it’s drawing hordes of young suburbanites who are dropping off their cars at one of two park-and-ride sites along the route and taking the Hiawatha to downtown bars on weekend nights. (The trains run until 1 a.m.)


Of course, “this is just the initial startup phase, so we’re not sure how much of that is novelty and how much we’ll be able to sustain over an extended period of time,” cautions Metro Council Chair Peter Bell.


“But it should be quickly noted,” he says, “that the other two major portions of the line - the Mall of America and the airport - have not yet been added. And I think that will provide a significant additional boost to ridership.”


Just as important, he says, the project was completed on time, despite a 44-day transit strike, and under budget. (The estimated annual operating costs are $16 million, one-third of which will be paid by the state, one-third by Hennepin County and one-third by  Hiawatha fare revenues.)


Yes, Bell says, there are still problems with traffic tie-ups at certain intersections, where rush-hour traffic was backed up for several blocks shortly after the Hiawatha opened.


“But all in all, I think this is a model opening. It’s hard to have a $715 million project without a few complications. And the signaling snafus and some of the traffic tie-ups we’ve had are part of it.”


So who are these people riding the Hiawatha? Judging from a random survey of about a dozen riders one morning last week, they represent a surprisingly wide and diverse spectrum of Twin Cities residents.


To be sure, many are white-collar commuters like Nathan Van Engen, 29, a resident of suburban Hastings, who parks his car at Fort Snelling and takes the Hiawatha to his job at U.S. Bank in the Pillsbury Center, where he’s an underwriter.


“It really doesn’t save me that much time, but it sure reduces the stress and any concerns about parking,” he says. “Once you get inside the 694- 494 loop of the interstate, traffic is just a nightmare.”


But there are also college students and shoppers and tourists, and a fair number of senior citizens, such as Sarah Standefer, 64, a nurse who last week was taking the Hiawatha for the first time with her 11-year-old grandson, Michael Casello, A “huge supporter” of mass transit, Standefer says the Hiawatha’s high ridership numbers merely confirm what she’s felt all along: If you’re willing to invest in quality mass transit, people will use it.


“I mean, look at New York City or anywhere else where there’s mass transit,” she says. “People ride it in droves, not only because it’s convenient but because - well, I just think there’s something about being with people that gives you a lift. You’re not isolated like you are in a car.”


And statistics recently cited by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune appear to support that view. Although rail systems in San Jose, Calif., and central New Jersey are struggling, no less than nine cities - ranging in size from Houston (population 2 million) to Salt Lake City (181,000) - are in the process of expanding their rail lines. And a half-dozen other cities are about to join the club.


So much for the oft-stated notion that mass transit will never catch on in this country because Americans are hopelessly in love with their automobiles, Standefer says. “I mean, that’s the car lobby talking, isn’t it?” she says. “As far as I’m concerned, passenger rail makes sense today, and it made sense 30 years ago.”


John Derus can’t help but chuckle when he hears such remarks. Ah, but if only people had listened 30 years ago, muses Derus, a former Minneapolis City Council member and Hennepin County commissioner who back in 1970s and ‘80s fought a lonely and seemingly futile battle to get the city to consider some form of rail. “Sure would have been a lot cheaper back then,” says Derus during a late-afternoon interview at the Nicollet Island Inn on the banks of the Mississippi.


A proud and disarmingly candid man, Derus, now 64, dropped out of politics years ago and runs a public relations firm. But - much to his own surprise - he’s now being heralded as one of unsung heroes of the Hiawatha success story. Not only because he refused to let the idea die, but because people remember all the scorn and ridicule he endured while pushing for a rail system at a time when many cities were dismantling their rail lines.


The Star-Tribune, he notes, “ran about 15 or 20 cartoons poking fun at me - I’ve still got most of ‘em.” And the (St. Paul) Pioneer Press, he adds, was almost as brutal. “The general feeling, I think, was that I was too big for my britches - that I was reaching too far and should get back in my box. And it wasn’t just the papers who felt that way. We were fighting the state Legislature, the federal government, practically every county in the state and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for gosh sakes,” he says.


Actually, Derus and a small group of Democratic supporters originally favored a subway linking Minneapolis and St. Paul - in large part, he says, because the layers of glacial drift, limestone and sandstone under Minneapolis “provide some of the best and cheapest tunneling conditions in North America.”


To be honest, he figured the idea was so bold and innovative that it couldn’t help but boost his political career, Derus says. “That’s the self-serving reason I pushed it. The altruistic reason was that I just thought, why not? Why shouldn’t we do this just because nobody else will?


“I could see that we were choking to death on our own success around here. There wasn’t any more money for freeways, which become obsolete the moment you build them. And even if you wanted to build them, they’d eat up all the farm land.


“Plus, we had an aging population, a lot of poverty and people with handicaps who don’t drive cars. We had all kinds of reasons why people need good, dependable mass transit - including, incidentally, the worst temperature swings in North America.”


Nonetheless, the critics howled. And they continued to howl until the 1990s when public attitudes about rail gradually started to shift. What caused it?


Certainly Ventura played a prominent role, says Derus, who speaks to civic groups across the country about the merits of passenger rail. Beyond that, Derus suspects that even the critics got fed up sitting in massive traffic jams and realized something had to be done to ease the congestion.


Asked if he thought a light rail or trolley system would be feasible in a city like Madison, with a population of 220,000, Derus says, “Sure, it could.”


“I’m not anti-car,” he says, “but the better question, I think, is can Madison justify building another freeway? I’ve been to Madison, it’s a beautiful city. And the last thing you want is to pave over the whole place. “I mean, one of the benefits of light rail is you’ve got a fare box on the thing. And it would probably pay for about 40 percent of your maintenance costs.”


Derus says one of the great ironies of the Hiawatha story is that some of his most vociferous critics are now among the rail line’s biggest cheerleaders. That includes Curt Johnson, a former Metro Council chair who heads the Itasca Group, a business organization that’s pushing for rail expansion. And, believe it or not, even the Star-Tribune.


Yes, it’s true, says Steve Berg, a Star-Tribune editorial writer. The paper now believes, in retrospect, that the Hiawatha was a wonderful idea. But one line, he emphasizes, “doesn’t make a system. And until there’s an interconnected rail-bus network, you won’t notice much change in traffic.”


Even so, “the thing we’ve got to keep in mind is that by 2025, there will be a million more people (in Minneapolis) and almost a million more cars on our roadways,” Berg says. “Where are we going to put these cars? The only way to solve this ... is with wider roads and more choices, like transit.”


Peter Bell, the Metro Council chair, expresses similar sentiments. “I don’t think light rail’s a panacea in any sense,” he says. “But, you know, people want to divide the world into, are you a roads guy or are you a transit guy? And the fact of the matter is, I personally am both.


“In this region, traffic congestion is growing very, very fast. I think it’s the

No. 1 livability issue in the seven-county metro area. And I think that expanding our transit system is one piece of the puzzle.”


Clearly, not everyone agrees. Republican Rep. Phil Krinkie says he not only isn’t impressed with the Hiawatha but is amazed that people are actually falling for the “pro-rail propaganda.”


“First and foremost, I’ve never seen, nor heard, nor read of anyone who can document that public transit reduces congestion,” he says. “Like Alka-Seltzer, it may offer some temporary relief but it is not a solution.


“In fact, what we’ve already seen in its first month of operation is that the Hiawatha has actually caused congestion,” adds Krinkie, who last month charged that state and city officials had concealed e-mails and other correspondence that expressed concerns about the Hiawatha causing traffic delays on cross streets.


The other thing people need to remember, Krinkie says, is that rail systems “always have huge capital costs. So for people to purport that rail is a better method of moving people than buses or additional freeway lanes is just ridiculous.”


Bell, for one, says he welcomes such criticisms. “Frankly, when you’re going to spend $715 million you should argue over it,” he says. “However, at the end of the day you’ve got to come down on one side or the other. And I am a transit supporter.”


Derus concedes that Krinkie and his anti-rail cohorts have played a meaningful role in the debate. But he also believes that the momentum is definitely on the side of rail advocates now.


Indeed, whereas Bell refuses to predict what will happen next, Derus says he has absolutely no doubts that the Northstar line will become a reality within two or three years. “Now, people will say I’m nuts, but I’m telling you it’s going to happen,” he says. And the reason it’s going to happen, he says, is because even many skeptics are being won over by the Hiawatha.


Toni Borwege, 61, a retired Lutheran lay pastor from suburban Burnsville, admits having been one of those skeptics. “I used to think the Hiawatha was absolute folly,” she says. “Why would a city put up that kind of money for an experiment?” But as she rode the Hiawatha last week with mouth agape, Borwege said she realized how wrong she was.


“It may be an experiment,” she said, gazing out at the Minneapolis skyline, “but it’s obviously going to be a successful one. I mean, it’s so easy, why would you use your car to go downtown anymore - especially with parking as crazy as it is?


“Makes you wonder why we didn’t do it decades ago.”



Youth Transit Pass (

In 1997 and 1998 the San Mateo County Transit District and the Utah Transit Authority teamed up to offer an innovative and highly successful program to encourage young people to ride public transit. The program is called the Summer Youth Pass. Purchase of the pass gives people under 17 unlimited access to buses (as well as light rail in 1999) throughout San Mateo County in California and along an 80-mile corridor in Utah from June through August. Passes cost $25 each and are designed to look like a “dog tag”. In Utah, they receive a $5 discount if they purchase a pass with one or more friends through the Buddy Plan. In both states youth also receive coupons good for discounts or free products at local merchants. SamTrans fitted all 317 SamTrans buses with bike racks which hold two bicycles each. An additional two bikes are allowed inside the bus. Through connections to Caltrain and BART, SamTrans also encourages and supports multimodal travel.


In 1998, SamTrans sold 3,614 Summer Youth Passes. Passholders use their pass an average of 30 times per summer, resulting in substantial reductions in energy use and air pollution compared with automobile trips. The pass provides highly valued independence for teens, while at the same time reassuring parents as it gives teens access to a wide range of activities during the day when parents are generally unavailable to provide transportation.


Tax Exempt Transit Benefits (

Commuter Check is a transit fare savings program that operates through employers. Commuter Checks are purchased by employers as either a company-paid benefit or by using pre-tax employee paid contributions. The Bay Area Commuter Check program began in 1991. The program was expanding by approximately 35% a year, and since the pre-tax employee-paid option became available in June 1998, the rate of growth has exceeded 100%. More than 2000 employers had participated by August 1999. In 1999, it is projected that over $15 million in Bay Area Commuter Checks will be sold, with over 35,000 employees now participating. Surveys indicate significant user appreciation of this service, and that it increases transit use.



References And Resources For More Information


APTA (annual reports), Public Transportation Fact Book Statistics, American Public Transit Association (, annual publication.


Andrea Broaddus, Todd Litman and Gopinath Menon (2009), Training Document On "Transportation Demand Management, Sustainable Urban Transport Project ( and GTZ (


Jeffrey Brown and Gregory L. Thompson (2009), The Influence of Service Planning Decisions on Rail Transit Success or Failure, Mineta Transportation Institute (; at


Colin Buchanan and Partners (2003), Transferability Of Best Practice In Transport Policy Delivery, Scottish Executive (


Ralph Buehler (2009), “Promoting Public Transportation: A Comparison Of Passengers And Policies In Germany And The U.S.,” Transportation Research Record 2110, TRB (, pp. 60-68; at

CALTRANS (2004), California Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Searchable Database, California Department of Transportation (


Robert Cervero, et al (2004), Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experience, Challenges, and Prospects, TCRP Report 102, Transit Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board (


CTOD (2009), Destinations Matter: Building Transit Success, Center for Transit Oriented Development, Reconnecting America (; at


Hank Dittmar and Gloria Ohland (2004), The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development, Island Press (


EDF (2009), Reinventing Transit: American Communities Finding Smarter, Cleaner, Faster Transportation Solutions, Environmental Defense Fund (; at


EDRG (2007), Time is Money: The Economic Benefits of Transit Investment, Economic Development Research Group for the Chicago RTA (


EMBARQ (2012), Evaluate, Enable, Engage: Principles to Support Effective Decision Making in Mass Transit Investment Programs, EMBARQ (; at


EMBARQ India (2014), Bus Karo 2.0 – Case Studies from India, EMBARQ India (; at


John E. Evans and Richard H. Pratt (2007), Transit Oriented Development; Chapter 17, Travel Response To Transportation System Changes, TCRP Report 95, Transportation Research Board (; at


John M. Frantzeskakis and Michael J. Frantzeskakis (2006), “Athens 2004 Olympic Games: Transport Planning, Simulation and Traffic Management,” ITE Journal, Vol. 76. No. 10 (, Oct. 2006, pp. 26-32.


Google Transit Trip Planner ( provides public transit route planning and schedule information in participating cities.


Lyndon Henry and Todd Litman (2006), Evaluating New Start Transit Program Performance: Comparing Rail And Bus, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Carmen Hass-Klau, Graham Crampton and Rabia Benjari (2004), Economic Impact of Light Rail: The Results Of 15 Urban Areas In France, Germany, UK and North America, Environmental & Transport Planning (


Dario Hidalgo and Aileen Carrigan (2010), Modernizing Public Transportation: Lessons Learned From Major Bus Improvements In Latin America And Asia, EMBARQ (; at


Jeff Kenworthy (2008), “An International Review of The Significance of Rail in Developing More Sustainable Urban Transport Systems in Higher Income Cities,” World Transport Policy & Practice, Vol. 14, No. 2 (; at


Todd Litman (2004), Rail Transit In America: Comprehensive Evaluation of Benefits, VTPI (; available at .


Todd Litman (2005), Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs, VTPI (; available at


Todd Litman (2005c), Evaluating Rail Transit Criticism, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; available at


Todd Litman (2006), Smart Congestion Reductions II: Reevaluating The Role Of Public Transit For Improving Urban Transportation, VTPI (; available at


Todd Litman (2007), Valuing Transit Service Quality Improvements, VTPI (; at; originally published in the Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring 2008, pp. 43-64; at


Todd Litman (2008), Build for Comfort, Not Just Speed: Valuing Service Quality Impacts In Transport Planning, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2010), Raise My Taxes, Please! Evaluating Household Savings From High Quality Public Transit Service, VTPI (; at


Oliver Mietzsch (2010), Non-Fiscal Instruments of Public Transit Infrastructure Funding: Experiences in the United States and Lessons for German Cities, German Marshall Fund (; at


MKI (2003), Transit Means Business – The Economic Case for Public Transit in Canada, Canadian Urban Transit Association (


Katerina Moreland, et al. (2011), “Transit System Evaluation Process: From Planning To Realization,” ITE Journal (, Vol. 81, No. 10, pp. 33-39; at


PPIAF (2006), Urban Bus Toolkit: Tools and Options for Reforming Urban Bus Systems, Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (; at


Richard Pratt and John Evans (2004), Bus Routing and Coverage: Traveler Response to Transport System Changes, Chapter 10; Report 95, Transit Cooperative Research Program; Transportation Research Board (; available at


John Pucher and Ralph Buehler (2009), “Sustainable Transport that Works: Lessons from Germany,” World Transport Policy and Practice, Vol. 15, No. 1, May, pp. 13-46 (


Tom Reinhold and A. T. Kearney (2008), “More Passengers and Reduced Costs—The Optimization of the Berlin Public Transport Network, ” Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 57-76; at


John Schumann (2005), “Assessing Transit Changes in Columbus, Ohio, and Sacramento, California: Progress and Survival in Two State Capitals, 1995-2002,” Transportation Research Record 1930, Transit: Intermodal Transfer Facilities, Rail, Commuter Rail, Light Rail, and Major Activity Center Circulation Systems, Transportation Research Board (, pp. 62-67.


Jeffery J. Smith and Thomas A. Gihring (2006), Financing Transit Systems Through Value Capture: An Annotated Bibliography, Geonomy Society (; available at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (


TranSystems Corporation (2007), Elements Needed to Create High Ridership Transit Systems: Interim Guidebook, TCRP Report 111, Transportation Research Board (; at


VREF (2012), 10 Years with the FUT Programme, Volvo Research and Education Foundation (; at



American Public Transit Association ( provides extensive information on public transit issues.


Bus Rapid Transit Website ( provides information on various strategies to improve bus transit service performance.


Center for Urban Transportation Research ( provides TDM materials and classes and publishes TMA Clearinghouse Quarterly.


Center for Transportation Excellence ( provide research materials, strategies and other forms of support on the benefits of public transportation.


Commuter Choice Program ( provides information, materials and incentives for developing employee commute trip reduction programs.


Federal Transit Administration ( provides a variety of resources for transit planning.


Innovative Strategies To Increase Ridership Website (


International Union of Public Transport ( is an international organization that supports public transit.

This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.




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